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Early Lotus sales outlets in Australia


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#51 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 00:22

There shouldn't have been any 22s for sale second hand at that time...

I seem to recall seeing that name recently, however.

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#52 cooper997

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 04:03

Early Lotus enthusiasts should check out the latest issue (#76) of Australian Muscle Car magazine. Nanette Geoghegan has supplied some dealership photos for a two page Geoghegans Sporty Cars feature.

Stephen

#53 lyntonh

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 07:40

Early Lotus enthusiasts should check out the latest issue (#76) of Australian Muscle Car magazine. Nanette Geoghegan has supplied some dealership photos for a two page Geoghegans Sporty Cars feature.

Stephen

Ah, the perils of generously posting on TNF without watermarks.

 

These two shots of mine appear in the article uncredited....

 

I presume they didn't know the source....

70_zpsc7631e69.jpg

 

73_zpscd4d025c.jpg

At least on here you have them at a size that lets you see some detail, however blurry...!!!



#54 DanTra2858

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 07:48

Thanks Stephan for the info on Geoghegan,s Habberfield, I went to the local Newsagent to have a look at the mag & low & behold there is a photo of me working on an Elan in the workshop which was the Servo on the corner across the road from Bond Roll Bars.

This would have been 1969, also working there at the time was Barry Lake & Wally Willmott, Service Manager was Bob Everitt.

With a little help to remove a Europa from its crate & motor/Gearbox Diff assy. from it crate it took me about 10 hours to assemble a car ready for rego, there were some long day assembling Lotus cars mainly due to the Clutch Plates attaching them self to the Flywheel.

Of course this did not show up until the installation of Motor / Gearbox into the car on initial start up, sometimes it could be rectified by starting the car in gear but not always, then out with the Motor Gearbox as that was easier then split, fix problem then all back together again, good days.

#55 DanTra2858

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 07:53

There was many years ago a back off a Grace Brothers truck that was a garage for a Mini at Appin.

#56 M bennett

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 08:50

To discover another interesting side to the dynamic Mr Derek Jolly, Lotus agent and Le Mans driver with Graham Hill, go the Radio National website and click on -  Rare Collections -

 

      Mike B Adelaide



#57 cooper997

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 09:16

Lynton, I knew I'd seen the Grace Bros photos on here. Just couldn't 100% remember they were yours. Contact editor, Luke West and he'll probably give due credit or try for a couple of magazines. You should contact him about putting together some of your photos in the 'Punter Pics' (I hate that title, but it unearths some interesting stuff). Your photos are deserving of a wider audience than just TNF, be good you get the credit too, though.

Daniel, I wondered whether there was anyone recognisable. You should also put together a few more anecdotes about working there and send to Luke for the letters pages of AMC.

Stephen

#58 cooper997

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 09:31

Hopefully this works. Link to Derek Jolly, as Mike mentions above.
http://www.abc.net.a...delaide/5719078

Stephen

#59 ed holly

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 10:10

Guys,

 

I too worked at Geoghegans. One week of my holidays from the Commonwealth Bank for the years 66 and 67 I think or maybe 65 and 66 ...

 

Both times it was at the Homebush address - the yard between the factories and opposite Ron Wards. I had a mate that worked there, Dennis Harlem and Den got me the gig with Pete, although I always called him Ian then. Was the funniest guy, I had an absolute ball those weeks, just being around cars and detailing them. I had a 997 Cooper then a Cooper S - which I detailed then bought, trading in a 998 Cooper that year - but the one car I really thought I'd like to own was what we now call a Step Nose Alfa.

 

Do you want me to tell the story of when Pete told me to take a Mini with no seats across Parramatta Rd to Ron Ward's ...? :lol:

 

Great photos Lynton.

 

Ed


Edited by ed holly, 12 September 2014 - 10:12.


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#60 cooper997

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 05:54

This would be a suitable place to add anecdotes relating to their sales, service and building of Lotus and other sporty cars. So please tell Ed.

Going back to earlier in this thread I made mention of John Roxburgh having a Lotus stand at the 1961 Melbourne Motor Show. The following shows a new use for a Lotus 7 with the 1961 Miss International Motor Show winner, Judy Luff adorning said car. It appeared in The Sun newspaper at the time.
image.jpg

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:46.


#61 lyntonh

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 07:25

Lynton, I knew I'd seen the Grace Bros photos on here. Just couldn't 100% remember they were yours. Contact editor, Luke West and he'll probably give due credit or try for a couple of magazines. You should contact him about putting together some of your photos in the 'Punter Pics' (I hate that title, but it unearths some interesting stuff). Your photos are deserving of a wider audience than just TNF, be good you get the credit too, though.

Daniel, I wondered whether there was anyone recognisable. You should also put together a few more anecdotes about working there and send to Luke for the letters pages of AMC.

Stephen

I put them out there, so.....my problem.

 

I dealt with Luke on my " Oran Park Pacer driven by the mystery man " shot which he published with my reminiscences.

 

They were very good to work with.

 

Now back to the subject in hand, Lotus dealers......



#62 DanTra2858

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 20:57

Just a little confused, the picture placed by Cooper 997 states that the Lotus is a model 7, I thought that all Lotus 7 had the full flowing front guards not Cycle guards, if this is correct then the pictured Lotus would be a model 6, please correct me if I am wrong.

#63 cooper997

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 22:21

My best guess is that this is the very early 7 that the Coads became owners of. It has Graham Hill history from when still in the UK. Lotus enthusiasts will hopefully fill in the gaps.

Stephen

#64 lyntonh

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 23:57

Marc Schagen's Lotus book has it as Lotus Seven Series One chassis no: 436 described as a " prototype Seven ".



#65 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 00:58

That picture can't be a Lotus 6, as surely they had a divided front axle, not wishbones.



#66 M bennett

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 09:00

This Lotus 7 is the famous Series 1 car that was registered 7 TMT in the UK. It was a Team Lotus entry in various events.  On Boxing Day 1958 Graham Hill won a sports car race at Brands Hatch in this car, running against a field of technically superior Lotus Elevens and others. Peter Warr bought the car from Lotus and used it as his personal transport including an extensive trip of the Continent. It had/has a Coventry Climax FWA engine and a beam rear axle. Peter Warr sold the car to Derek Jolly when Derek was on one of his trips to the UK.

   There is a lovely picture of this car with its SA registration at The Cedars in Hahndorf with Sir Hans Heysen next to the car  Derek's girlfriend at the time was Jo Heysen.

       The car is still in Australia in immaculate original condition. Possible one of the most famous Lotus 7s in the world?

       Mike Bennett    



#67 DanTra2858

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 09:19

Thanks guys for correcting me, as I said I was confused by the cycle guard, many thanks.

#68 cooper997

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 11:10

Here's the whole Lotus stand at the 1961 Melbourne Motor Show. Derek Jolly & John Roxburgh at the desk and ready to take orders. But no dolly bird.

 

Roxburgh_lotus.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:48.


#69 DanTra2858

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 21:35

During my time at Geoghegan,s Habberfield, work consisted of assembly of Elans, Elans+2 & Europa. We did assemble one Super Seven, worked on a few Elan mk1,s & one Elite of course there was also work being done on other cars that were in the Sale YaXq ard.

I was very luck to work on the Geoghegan modified Europa with Wally Willmott, we were also looking at modifing a Elan+2 to run a Ford Auto box but the auto was too wide for the Backbone Chassie, this could easily have been modified but the body would also have to have the transmission tunnel widened, lots of work & Dollars. The price of a standard +2 was similar to that of a Ford GTHO so this option was just not viable.

#70 cooper997

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 00:09

Daniel, that's the sort of anecdote that is a little nugget of gold. Otherwise it's pretty much 'who would have known' that the concept was even considered. I take it that an 'auto' Elan was under consideration for a client? Or just the Geoghegan's wanting to do something different?

 

I'm also a little curious on your mention of Barry Lake working at Geoghegans? Was he in overalls or sales?

 

Stephen



#71 DanTra2858

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 08:32

At that stage of Barry,s life he was in overalls, I remember a Customer came in with a Lotus 7 or Super 7 but that does not matter as it had a bad oil leak, it turned out that the Customer was a Ballet Dancer & was right into the Arts.

Barry removed the motor, stripped the sump to replace crank oilseals & gasket.

Motor back in, tune up road, test & all was well.

The Customer picked his car up but 2 days later he was back to thank Barry for a well done repair as now the Lotus is sitting in his garage & not dropping oil on his WHITE CARPET.

It was very hard to keep a straight face, the funny thing was that every time Barry told the story it was like a Fishmans story, longer & funnier.

Edited by DanTra2858, 17 September 2014 - 08:37.


#72 cooper997

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:50

Another good one Daniel. Can't be too many Lotus parked on carpet or owned by a ballet dancer for that matter.

Stephen

#73 DanTra2858

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 10:42

Lotus Elans were bad for water leaks at the top of the A Pillar & in the boot.

We tried reglueing the door sealing at the top of the A Pillar but to no avail as the inside plastic section of the seal kept on pulling it down leaving a small opening at the top where the seal assembly transfered to the horizontal.

The final Geoghan Factory fix was to push the seal assy up as hard as you could into the top of the A Pillar while your off side drilled a one eighth inch hole through the vinal inside section of he seal & into the Fiberglass body, then insert a Pop Rivet pull it home & there was a permant fix with nothing but happy customers.

Oh buy the way we did not leave the Pop River just plain silver so it would show, we actually conceled it by painting it with a BLACK TEXTA.

Edited by DanTra2858, 18 September 2014 - 10:43.


#74 cooper997

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:54

Daniel, I hope that tweak was brought to the attention of Lotus and incorporated into their manuals... Best the Lotus boys don't get you to judge at their next concours. They'd be scared you would be checking for the Texta coated rivet. (Laughs).

Stephen

#75 DanTra2858

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 05:08

Am I the only one that has Lotus Dealer Stories?

#76 ed holly

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:52

I was lucky enough to buy a lot of Graham Howard's Lotus books and brochures etc some time back when it was auctioned. Here is some of the brochures ..

 

Apologies if this doesn't work - never used Postimage before - but if it does work - it is a terrific system.

 

Ed

 

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Edited by ed holly, 21 September 2014 - 07:56.


#77 ed holly

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 07:42

Here's the next brochure - no intro needed to Elite officiandos !  :love:

 

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#78 ed holly

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:01

Here's a actual photo ...

 

Just noticed it is a rhd Elite but in the Challman brochure it is mirror reverse ... 1960s photoshop ?

 

Elite_advert_photo.jpg
online photo storage


Edited by ed holly, 22 September 2014 - 08:04.


#79 DanTra2858

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 20:40

What wonderful set of Documents Ed, a true story of where Lotus was in the Open Market at the time.

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#80 DanTra2858

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 21:04

While I was employed by Geoghegan,s I only worked on one Elite, was very impressed by the construction of the car as a full mono Fibreglass enclosure setup.

Can not fully remember what we had to do on the Elite but I do remember it was on sale in the yard so it would have been a quick mechanic check up prior to the car going on sale.

The main thing that had to be done as with all Fibreglass Lotus cars was to make sure that the electrical earth set up was not corrupted by corrosion on the body to Chassis Alloy mounting Bobbins in the body, that was number one check on all Lotus even new ones.

The Alloy Bobbins on the Elite are for Suspension Mounting but there again Steel Bolts into Alloy Bobbins means Corrosion of the Bobbin which have been known to become loose in their Fibreglass enclosure, meaning Fibreglass repairs.

For me the hardest thing while working at Geoghegan,s was learning how to spell their name, Smith or Brown would have been much easier.

#81 cooper997

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 02:15

Interesting to see Ed's Lotus 6 and Elite brochures.

 

Despite their fame with motor racing, the Geoghegan name will be mis-spelt forever and a day, by many Daniel.

 

Here's an early advert from the pages of Apr 56 AMS - Alex Strachan era. The same issue carries a Lotus 11 feature by Douglas Armstrong.

 

AMS_Lotus_ad.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:52.


#82 cooper997

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 02:38

And perhaps during a Lotus agent in Australia 'limbo' period Mr Chapman decided to run the following in the March 58 AMS.

 

AMS_Lotus_6_ad.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:53.


#83 ed holly

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 07:01

Here is what appears to be a standard reply letter to "Lotusser's" about the Lotus Elite  -  the paper is about as thin as it could possibly be, almost like tissue paper, I guess because of the overseas mail nature it would often be sent by.

 

Elite_paraphanalia.jpg
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Edited by ed holly, 23 September 2014 - 07:24.


#84 ed holly

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 07:20

Now for some of the Lotus 7. What a remarkable car ....

 

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Edited by ed holly, 23 September 2014 - 07:22.


#85 DanTra2858

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 11:03

Lotus, after reading all the paperwork that has been shown I find that during this period of time how simple things were, this is what we have & this is how we can provide it to you, simple just not the way the world is today with all its complexitys.

I love the simple, it sits right with me.

#86 cooper997

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 03:06

AMS published their 'Automobiles Australia' yearbook in March 1961, these Jolly & Leaton adverts appear in it.

AA_Jolly_Lotus_ad.jpg

 

AA_Leaton_advert.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:54.


#87 DanTra2858

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 22:15

When Lotus cars were imported into Australia during my time at Geoghegans they came in a open frame wooden crate with the car wrapped in plastic sheeting, that was the full extent of protection.

The Motor / Gearbox assy was in a wooden box complete with Suspension, Tailshaft , Diff & Wheels.

Each Crate / Box had Identification numbers on them to match motor to body, so the first thing to do was match up components to assemble a car, when this was done the body Crate was opened, plastic wrapping removed & using 2 trolly jacks the body was moved into the workshop & placed on modified jack stands.

Then the Motor box was opened & all Suspension parts / wheels were removed & taken into the workshop ready for assembly, by this this time it was stop work for morning tea.

Now refreshed it was time to fit all Suspension & wheels so the car was now a roller which made it easier to work on, when assembling the Rear Suspension the Diff, Drive Shafts, Hillman Imp Rubber Doughnuts etc were all fitted as well during this time of Assembly.

Now for lunch.

So with a full belly it was time to bring in the Motor / Gearbox Assy, Tailshaft & fit them into the car, along with Exhaust System.

When this assembly was bolted in cooling hoses, electrics & other parts were fitted then it was time to present to this new arrival it,s first full meal of Lubricants including Brake Fluid, so we then bled the brakes.

By this time it was about 4 in the afternoon so a cupper was in order then back to work.

Now that the car was fully Assembled the work realy started, recheck that all previously assembled parts were correctly assembled & all bolts/ nuts were tight, oil levels were correct & no leaks in Brake Hydrolic system & fluid was at correct levels.

Next was to check that Clutch operated correctly if not then one of 2 steps were taken to rectify the adhesion of the Clutch plate to the Flywheel / Pressure plate.

If there was no trouble with the Clutch it was time to connect the Battery & start the Motor, let it warm up check for Fluid leaks & bleed the Heater system in the cabin of the car by slackining the bleed screw on the top of the heater core remembering to tighten it after all the air was bled off.

If there was Clutch trouble the first thing was to start the car while in gear, this usually caused the clutch plate to release then operate correctly, if not then out with the Motor / Gearbox assy to fix the problem then back into the car, this would add 3 hours to assy.

If all went well it was now about 6 pm but still the todo list list included Wheel Alignment, check that all Lights operated correctly & all electrics worked, then tyre pressures set with a final check for leaking fluids.

By this time it was about 8pm & another 12 hour day was complete leaving the Road test for first thing the next day which also included the cleaning up of wood crates & plastic wrapping. Then onto Normal Service work with another assembly starting the next day.

Well folks that is how it was done at Geoghegans, I may have missed a few steps but some where along the way but it is a long time from 1969 to now & now that the mind is not as good as it was, well you have the picture.

One thing that became apparent to me when I arrived at Geoghegan,s is that my Socket set comprised of all 1/2" drive, I soon found out that to work on Lotus car,s change to 3/8" Sockets as it saved hours in assembly time & Servicing these cars.

#88 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 22:42

Nice work there, Dan...

That gives us all an idea of how it was all done.

#89 cooper997

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 09:01

Daniel, good insight. How often would you build a Lotus at Geoghegan's?

 

Stephen



#90 DanTra2858

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 21:13

The Sales section allways required stock on the floor that covered the Lotus range excluding Super 7,s.

The slowest moving was the Elan Plus 2 so every time one was sold we would assemble another but that did not happen often, the most popular at the time was the Elan Coupe followed by the Europa, we would assemble during my term of employment 2 or 3 a week depending on sales of the model.

I found the Europa quicker to assemble than the Elan.

My first experiance driving a Europa along Paramatta Road was just straight out FRIGHITING espically when a double decker bus pulled up along side while waiting for the traffic lights to change to green, sitting in the Europa I found myself looking up at the center of its wheels with the bus towering over me, a feeling of vulnerability quickly came over me.

Edited by DanTra2858, 28 September 2014 - 21:15.


#91 GMACKIE

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 21:50

Interesting stuff Daniel....hope you can tell us more, as it comes to mind. :up:



#92 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 22:21

Yeah...

There must be some good stories about Pete the Europa salesman!

#93 cooper997

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:49

Daniel, So I take it that Geoghegan's had a decent storage area for the still to be assembled cars? Or were cars arriving from the UK in regular, small batches? Were they assembled by you if they were going interstate?

 

Stephen



#94 DanTra2858

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 00:34

Ray Pete did not come down to the Service Section much at all in all the time I was there I actually saw him 2/3 times one of the times he was showing off on a motor bike, doing wheel stands in the Lube Bay then the 6 foot dash from the lube bay through our Parts area into the the Lotus workshop then back again with the biggest smile I have ever seen on a guy that has just achieved what no one else has done.

Stephan the storage area was next to the Sevice area wall was not all that big, I should imagine 15 foot square enclosed with a good wire mesh fencing, boxs stacked 2 high as I remember.

Very safe in its day but by todays standards would have been a haven for people with light fingers.

The cars that we assembled I have no Idear where they went or were sold to until their first service & then it did not matter as long as they were satisifed.

One Elan FHC I do remember very well, its owner arrived at our service area unannounced while we were having morning tea wanting someting fixed right away, I told him that I would look at it as soon as I finished my coffee but that was the wrong answer for this guy.

He then spoke to Bob Everett the Service Manager & was told by him that I would look after his car as soon as I had finished my coffee, this slowed him down a bit but he kept on looking to his watch.

So I finished my coffee quickly or quicked than normal went into the Service bay held out my hand & interoduced myself, without a blink he took it shook my hand introduced himself told me what the problem was, I fixed it in 10 minutes & he was on his way, oh his name...Warrick Brown, I serviced his Elan from then on while I was at Geoghegans.

Edited by DanTra2858, 01 October 2014 - 00:38.


#95 DanTra2858

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 00:42

I also remember that while I was there Lance Ruting did a big Photo shoot with photos to be sent to Colin Chapman, would like to know if any copies are available.

#96 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 05:12

Photos from Lance Needs should be available from Autopics...

I'll check with David when I talk to him later.

The Elan Warwick Brown had was probably the one owned by Pat Burke.

#97 cooper997

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:15

So obviously no warehouse chock full of Lotus then Daniel. Here's an advert from your era at Geoghegans - March 69 SCW.

 

It lists the other dealers around Aussie at the time.

 

SCW_Lotus_ad.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:56.


#98 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 12:19

Daniel, it is possible the photos might come to light...

What sort of scenes would he have photographed? Showroom? Workshop? Assembling cars?

It might help find them to know what there was.

#99 DanTra2858

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 19:39

The photo shoot was taken at the front of the Garage on Paramatta Rd, some showed just cars but others showed a gathering of us that assembled & serviced the cars, what happened in the Sales yard I do not know, this happened about September 1969.

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#100 cooper997

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 03:35

Well I'm sure there's a few motor boat enthusiasts here, but that's not quite the reason for this. This Chas Whatmore advert appears in the 1960 Lowood AGP programme.

1960_AGP_Whatmore.jpg

 

Stephen


Edited by cooper997, 03 May 2018 - 07:57.